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Title:Australian Newsagency Blog
Description:A blog on issues affecting Australia\'s small businesses, newsagents, media and small business generally.
Keywords:small businesses, newsagents, media, small business
Australian Newsagency Blog
Australian Newsagency Blog
A blog on issues affecting Australia #039;s newsagents, media and small business generally.
Why I am at Slush 2016 in Helsinki
Mark Fletcher on December 1, 2016 6:15 AM
Our world has changed forever. By our world I mean the newsagency world. Changes are not stopping either. Indeed, I think the pace of change has picked up.
One of the best places to see beyond changes we are confronted by today is a place focussed on the future. That is what Slush 2016 is #8211; a gathering of 17,000+ people talking about start-ups. There is no better place to contemplate the future than in an environment dedicated to the future.
While many of the start-ups have nothing directly to do with what newsagents do, plenty relate to changes we can contemplate #8211; such as changing tracks to serve how people will consume in the future compared to how they consume today.
Slush 2016 is proving to be a good place to think about these things, to contemplate change, the urgency of change and what our businesses may look like. I get that some聽like the traditional newsagency. Nostalgia is something to appreciate. However, it may not pay the bills #8211; not for enough newsagents at least.
There is nothing like this back in Australia. If we see a story on TV or in a newspaper about change it is already old. It is at start-up events like Slush where you hear about the idea while it is still fresh.
To set the scene, here is a brief clip from the amazing opening:
This blog is not the place for me to share specific takeaways, of which there are many #8211; personal and business.
Here are some photos from the event.
This session on dying was extraordinary.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: newsagency of the future
Low-cost for lottery retailers in Finland
Mark Fletcher on December 1, 2016 3:26 AM
I checked out plenty of lottery outlets in Helsinki today. The only fit out apparent was the stands you see in the photo. Low key and low cost. The burden on Aussie newsagents of the fit out requirements is extraordinary. It is made worse by the double standards with small business having a what looks like higher cost obligation than big business. In Finland all look the same and all are low cost.
rarr; 1 CommentCategory: Lotteries middot; Newsagency management middot; Social responsibility
Bauer to close print edition of Dolly magazine
Mark Fletcher on December 1, 2016 2:26 AM
The December 5 issue of Dolly magazine will be the last. The masthead will continue online but for print, this is the end.
This move was only a matter of time. In 2012, Dolly was selling 90,000+ copies an issue. This year, it has been selling 30,000.
The announcement by Bauer Media to close the print edition of Dolly comes just after Pacific Magazines announced the closure of the print edition of Girlfriend.
It is a tough time to be a magazine publisher. 2016 has been a difficult year. The sales and closures have been necessary as publishers tune their businesses for changed circumstances.
The demographic served by Dolly and Girlfriend consumes information differently today than in 2012 when Dolly #8217;s circulation was three times what it is today. In addition to this, the product brands that supported the print product back then now have their own direct to consumer channels that mean they are less reliant on the magazine brands that #8216;owned #8217; the聽channel to the consumer back then.
This is digital disruption in several levels #8211; the delivery of access to news and curated content and the disruption from brands owning and running their own direct to consumer channels.
The question for newsagents is what have you done to ensure your business attracts the Dolly / Girlfriend shopper?
The closure of the titles will not cause a significant drop-off as that has happened since 2012. What have you been doing to appear to these shoppers as you need them given the ageing population #8211; you need new people in your pipeline?
While the closures are confronting, there are launches of more long-tail titles that present us with opportunities in specialisation. I have received three submissions this week from Australian publishers launching new niche titles into the marketplace, publishers only relying on the newsagency channel to reach their prospective readers, publishers with little or no focus on subscriptions.
While the low margin on magazines is a major challenge for gaining newsagent interest, the opportunity to be a specialist, and through that to attract new traffic, is appealing. Magazines are important to our businesses. We should welcome launches and help those titles find readers, especially the titles that sell exclusively in the newsagency channel.
Footnote: For an excellent article on the Dolly move, read Miranda Ward #8217;s article at Mumbrella.
rarr; 2 CommentsCategory: magazines middot; Media disruption
Are newsagents as obsessed with possible Fairfax newspaper closures as News Corp?
Mark Fletcher on November 30, 2016 5:54 AM
I聽have no doubt we will soon hear from Fairfax that they plan to cease daily publication of some or all of聽their capital city daily newspapers. The circulation numbers are such that several days a week the production and distribution costs are not covered by sales and ad revenue.
I suspect the future structure of the total Fairfax business will play a role 聽in the timing of any announcement. There are reports of discussions with Nine Entertainment.
Fairfax is not the only newspaper publisher in Australia or the world facing the challenge of the future of its print product.
Every newspaper is in the same boat thanks to the disruption driven by mobile technology and social media that has fundamentally altered how, when and where we consume news.
There is a new challenge to what constitutes news. Thanks to better data on what people read, news outlets are more prone today to publish fake news, junk content and puffery than they would have back when they only had the print product. Publishers are pandering to what people like rather than publishing news.
You only have to look at the US election to realise the crisis confronting news outlets. News is not valued as it once was. We are in an era of celebrity where the opinions of a few matter more than irrefutable facts. The opinions of these few are soon spread as news thanks to the megaphone of social media.
This shift has been driven by social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the opportunity for everyone to be a publisher, an immediate, unedited, unmoderated publisher.
Ad revenue is a problem for print newspapers. It has all but collapsed for print newspapers. Okay, maybe collapsed is too dramatic a term. But it has declined聽considerably year on year for several years. This challenges the model of the physical product.
Also, Today there is a proliferation of news outlets we did not have in Australia just a few years ago.
If the numbers don #8217;t work, the publisher has to make the tough call. It is all about the numbers.
As is their want, News Corp. is obsessed with when Fairfax will transition from daily publishing of the print product to another model. Their latest report, in The Australian, claims a cost of $330M projected by Citi, to be faced by Fairfax of they make such a move.
The obsession by News is not unusual given the rivalry between the two publishers and that Fairfax has more respect聽as a trusted news publisher than News. If News was committed to news, The Australian would report on the company #8217;s own considerations and plans. I expect there are daily newspapers in its stable that do not pay their own way today, newspapers delivering mounting financial losses to the company #8217;s balance sheet #8211; if only the results were reported so this could be seen.
While this is interesting to watch, newsagents need to act. These changes are coming. Soon, daily newspapers will disappear, not all, but certainly some.聽When that first one goes, it will be a shock to many newsagents. It should not be a shock though. Smart newsagents have new traffic strategies in place that are bringing in new customers to purchase non circulation items.
What does your business look like without newspapers?
How do you consider yourself running a business without newspapers?
Are you ready in terms of your business plan?
Are you ready for how your bank will react?
Are you ready for how your landlord will react?
Are you ready for the doom and gloom reports that will defend upon the channel when the first paper closes? Can you weather it because it will be tough with our channel more tightly aligned with newspapers than any other single retail channel in Australia.
Are you working on your business now so it is ahead of the wave of change that will follow any closure of a major daily newspaper?
Or are you waiting for it to happen before you make any moves? If this is you, that approach will be too late.
Acting today involves placing newspapers in the most cost effective location in-store and reducing the visual impact of papers to messaging for your business. It requires you to engage with multiple strategies for attracting new shoppers into the business. And it involves you re-casting the image of your business in your external marketing. These points are just the start.
Look at your business data. Understand the role newspapers play: How often are newspapers聽purchased alone versus with other items? This and related analysis can help you understand the impact should daily newspapers cease in your area.
The聽report in The Australian is not relevant to the timing as Fairfax will make the decision based on the economics of the print operation #8211; just as they have made decisions to cut their workforce several times in recent years based on operating costs. The cost of the decision is a cost of business, to be borne over time.
rarr; 8 CommentsCategory: Media disruption middot; Newsagency challenges middot; Newsagency management middot; newsagency of the future middot; Newsagency opportunities middot; Newspapers
How newspapers are promoted in-store in the UK
Mark Fletcher on November 29, 2016 10:43 AM
At a WH Smith store in a transit location in the UK earlier today I noticed this small stack of The Daily Telegraph newspaper placed in the fridge next to the water. While the water is the free item when you purchase the newspaper, the placement and design of the signage made me think the paper was free with water purchase. Maybe that is deliberate as travellers might be more likely to purchase water than a newspaper.
On the back wall of the shop I found the newspaper section. I like the placement of candy in front of newspapers. This tactical placement makes sense for driving a deeper basket. While the fixture is old and partially blocks the view of the paper, the move is smart.
I am curious聽about the choice of product placement with newspapers. The Wall Street Journal and Nutella 鈥 who鈥檇 have thought?
I wonder how many newsagents in Australia actively place non circulation items with newspapers to drive a deeper basket? Small moves like these matter. If you look at supermarkets, they do the tactical placement for a deeper shopping basket well.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: Newspapers middot; Tactical display
Yes, the Gotch allocations system is broken
Mark Fletcher on November 29, 2016 6:46 AM
Last week I wrote about a newsagent being sent 31 copies of New Statesman, up from the usual 3 or 4. This week they have been sent 42 copies. Here is the evidence of escalating oversupply by Gotch. 3 or 4, then 13, then 31 and now 42.
What a waste of time and money.
last week I thought the 31 might be a transposition of 13 from the previous issue. I have no explanation for 42 other than the Gotch system being broken.
Their competitor is gone. They have one job #8211; to get allocations right. And now this.
I feel for the publisher and their investment wasted in at least 40 of these copies.
rarr; 4 CommentsCategory: magazine distribution middot; Magazine oversupply middot; magazines
Cloud based school booklist software for newsagents helping newsagents win school books business
Mark Fletcher on November 28, 2016 6:59 PM
Months ago my software company launched Booklist, a cloud based school booklist management solution designed to help newsagents more effectively compete against big businesses chasing school book list business. The goal was to provide newsagents a facility through which they can be seen by customers as more up to date and through which they can cut the time it takes to manage booklist orders.
Newsagents have had direct input into the facility as it has been enhanced over the last couple of months.
Using the site, newsagents can:
Setup a school.
Setup classes in a school and load all the booklist requirements.
The booklist items could be loaded by a CSV file. You would record item description, price, supplier and supplier stock cost.
You would setup order close dates.
Plus you would have the ability to note when an order is ready for collection.
The site would allow for you not having stock, thereby adjusting the amount to be collected.
Share a link for parents to sign up and add their kid(s) to a class and to either take the whole booklist or select what they want.
The site would allocate logins to parents so they would have access to their order.
Receive payment from the parents.
Alternatively, the site would give the transaction to your Retailer software for payment by the parents in-store.
Export a file of all items required to fulfil booklists, by supplier and by school. CSV you could load into Excel.
Report on total revenue by school and class.
The site would be accessible by desktop, tablet and phone.
In addition to the per year fee there is聽a small card processing fee, on a cost recovery basis, for payments made online.
Here are the enhancements guided by newsagents:
Category聽Sorting to enable easier management.
Picklist production for product picking.
Group products聽by category in the store聽booklist page.
Display the聽store ABN on the store page,聽and allow store to edit their ABN from聽store聽backend
Allow store to聽adjust the display order of聽products in the store booklist page
Allow store to聽create different prices to聽booklist per school
Display store聽contact phone and fax聽number on the store page
Allow store to聽manually create/update聽category from the store backend
Allow store to聽manually drag and drop the聽marker on Google Map to the correct聽position, if聽the store location is not showing聽correctly on Google Map
Allow store聽customer to reset their login聽password via forgot password page
Added聽validation to Pin Payment API Keys聽field to indicate store if invalid API聽details聽entered
Added 鈥淏ooklist聽Review鈥 step, before store聽confirm to create the school booklist.
Fixed the聽website URL from聽聽to聽
From this project it is clear there is no one approach to managing school book list sales. The developers at my company and sought聽to address the most common and commercially viable needs to provide a cost effective solution for newsagents.
To access the preview please follow these instructions.
Go to the website:聽
Click on login.
Enter user name: demo.
Enter password: booklist.
Any questions, email
If my first job in a newsagency decades ago I packed school book orders. I remember the manual accounting process well. My hope is this cloud based facility encourages more newsagents back into this area newsagents once owned.
rarr; 2 CommentsCategory: Newsagency management middot; Newsagency opportunities middot; Stationery
Officeworks pushing hard for Back to School
Mark Fletcher on November 28, 2016 5:38 AM
Officeworks is making their usual big noise about back to school for the 2017 year. Their centrepiece claim is the price match offer 鈥 to beat the price on a booklist by 20%.
Many schools enter into booklist fulfilment arrangements as a means of raising funds for the school. Parents buying outside the preferred arrangement can reduce funds available to the school, meaning they may end up paying the gap through other fees.
This is why I see the Officeworks 20% discount offer as being false economy. It all depends on the school funding arrangement in place with the booklist partner, which is often a local family run newsagency business that invests back in the school and the community.
Newsagents doing booklist fulfilment work need to more actively talk about their financial support for the school and the community 鈥 to counter the Officeworks 20% saving claim.
Discounts by big businesses come at a cost somewhere but I suspect usually not at a cost to the big business. We hear about the pressure supermarkets place on farmers and other suppliers 鈥 they fund the supermarket discounts that the supermarkets claim to give to consumers.
This 20% discount offer by Officeworks on school booklist items feels like that 鈥 a discount that is not real as someone somewhere ends up paying for it. It could be the parents who actually pay over the course of the year.
My advice to newsagents doing booklists and who offer a rebate or other benefit to the school 鈥 be open about this, let parents know the good being done by supporting your business.
rarr; 1 CommentCategory: Competition middot; Newsagency challenges middot; Stationery
Sunday newsagency marketing tip: 40 Christmas marketing ideas
Mark Fletcher on November 27, 2016 5:47 AM
Each year, my POS software company, Tower Systems, publishes Christmas marketing tips for independent retailers. Here is this year #8217;s list:
Make it easy.聽People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it聽easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
Be thrilled people are in your shop.聽Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
Make the giving easy.聽If people purchase items from you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
Make the shop less about Christmas.聽Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone 鈥 not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
Help people rest and recharge.聽Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop 鈥 without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
Let your customers help each other.聽Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher鈥檚 paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 鈥 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
Make price comparison difficult.聽If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
Less聽is more.聽聽The stack em high watch em fly聽mantra can be wrong. Indeed, it is often wrong in retail. Shoppers can be store blind because a shop is too full or a display is too busy. Consider creating simpler less cluttered displays and window promotions. Draw attention to what you want people to see by promoting that one thing. Every time someone asks if you have something that you think through should be able to find easily 鈥 take it as a challenge for you to address rather than a commentary on a facility of the customer.
Change.聽Christmas season in your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
Be socially engaged.聽On Facebook, Instagram, twitter and elsewhere, be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!
Be community minded.聽Choose a local charity or community group to support through Christmas. Consider: a change collection tin at the counter; a themed Christmas window display; promotion on your social media pages; a donation to their work; a collection point for donations from customers.
Facilitate sharing stories.聽Find space in your shop for customers to share their Christmas stories. It could be a story wall inside or in front of the shop. This initiative encourages storytelling by locals and better connects the business with the community.
Award a prize at a local school.聽Fund a year-end prize at a local school. Attend a school assembly to award the prize. Work with the school leadership on a prize appropriate to your business.
VIP preview.聽Host a VIP shopper preview night when you show off your Christmas ranges ahead of being available to the general shoppers. Respect and reward your local shoppers with deals and the opportunity to preview ahead of others.
Leverage Christmas traffic.聽Encourage the Christmas shopper traffic surge in after Christmas. Give them a reason to come back. A coupon promotion or a聽discount voucher聽on receipts could be the enticement to get shoppers back in-store. Note: the Tower POS software produces discount vouchers to rules you establish.
Become a gallery.聽Work with a school, kindergarten, community group or retirement village to bring in local art for people to come and see through Christmas. A small space commitment can drive traffic from family and friends of those with art on show.
Dress the shop.聽Fully embrace Christmas. Create a Christmas experience such that shoppers know they have stepped into somewhere special this Christmas. Go for more than some tinsel and a tree. Fully embrace the opportunity.
Make your shop smell like Christmas.
Send cards.聽Send Christmas cards early in the season to suppliers, key customers and local community groups. This connects you with Christmas. Invite all team members to sign each card.
Host a Christmas party.聽For shops nearby. You are all in the season together 鈥 let your hear down before things get crazy.
Ensure you have gifts targeted at occasions.聽For example: Kris Kringle, by price point and by recipient. Make it easy for people to know what they could give.
Stocking stuffers.聽At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
Offer gift vouchers聽鈥 for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
Be local.聽Ensure you have a selection of locally sourced products available for purchase. Make it clear in-store that these products are sourced locally.
Tell stories.聽On your Facebook page, talk about what is important to you at Christmas. Personalise the season and deepen the connection with those who could shop with you.
Offer a free gift.聽Bulk purchase an item to offer those who spend above a set amount. For example, spend $65 and receive XX where XX may have cost $5.00 but could have a perceived value of $20.00.
Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
Share Christmas recipes.聽Each week for, say, four weeks, give customers a family Christmas recipe. This personalises Christmas in your business, creates a talking point and makes shopping with you different to your bigger competitors.
Free wrapping.聽Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
Work the floor.聽Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
Christmas is crazy busy I most retail situations. Give yourself and your team members sufficient time to recharge so the smile greeting shoppers is heartfelt.
Keep a secret.聽If yours is a business selling gifts a partner may purchase for their loved-one, create some mystery with a closed off display for the shopper to see the products.
Free assembly.聽If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
Free delivery.聽Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
Sell training.聽Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
Hold back.聽Don鈥檛 go out with everything you have for Christmas all at once. Plan the season to show off what you have as the season unfolds. This allows you multiple launches.
Share a taste.聽Regardless if your type of business, bake a family recipe of Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or Christmas biscuits and offer tastings to shoppers on select days. This personalises the experience in your shop.
Offer hampers.聽Package several items together and offer them as a hamper. Time-poor shoppers could appreciate you doing this work for them. We have seen this work in many different retail situations.
Buy X get Y.聽Encourage people to spend more with a volume based deal. Pitched right, this could get customers purchasing items for several family members in order to get the price offer you have. Use your technology to manage this.
Christmas is the perfect time to plan for next year. It is the time to do everything possible to leverage bonus Christmas traffic to benefit your business through next year.
Tower Systems offers Point of sale / retail management software tailored for your specific type of retail business. Our software can help you leverage Christmas traffic for year-long benefits.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: marketing middot; marketing tip middot; newsagency marketing middot; Newsagency opportunities middot; Optimism
Sunday newsagency challenge: be serious about email
Mark Fletcher on November 27, 2016 5:42 AM
I was talking with newsagent last week who said they only check emails twice a week. This is not good. Checking emails in business is as important as answering the phone in business. If you miss an important email you may miss an important business opportunity or obligation.
rarr; 3 CommentsCategory: Newsagency challenges middot; Newsagency management
Sunday newsagency management tip: file your contracts!
Mark Fletcher on November 27, 2016 5:40 AM
Every agreement you sign, every contract, every supplier offer #8211; keep a copy, filed in a central place. Saying you can;t remember if you signed a contract is no excuse just as not being able to find an old contract is no excuse.
Be serious about your record keeping and this will help you stay out of trouble in the future.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: Management tip middot; Newsagency management
Are you selling gifts for pets this Christmas in your newsagency?
Mark Fletcher on November 26, 2016 6:02 AM
Pet gifts are huge. Pet lovers love to shower their friends with gifts. To understand the opportunity, see part of the Christmas gift display I saw the other day in a Pet Barn business.
This is inspiring. Newsagents should be in this place in a big way.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: marketing middot; marketing tip middot; Newsagency management middot; Newsagency opportunities
Behind the newsagency counter
Mark Fletcher on November 26, 2016 5:58 AM
We change our behind the counter display at least fortnightly, to provide shoppers with an impulse purchase opportunity. We go for bold, brand-focussed displays. This latest one has worked a treat.
My advice on behind the counter displays is: keep it simple, have a single focus, be bold and shine a light on a hero brand. You know you are on a winner when shoppers add to the basket at the counter.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: Counter offers middot; Newsagency management middot; newsagency marketing middot; Newsagency opportunities
Australia Post dropping the ball on deliveries
Mark Fletcher on November 26, 2016 5:46 AM
Over the last few months to number of times Australia Post has lost items has increased in my experience. In the most recent situation, a post pack, with a barcode for tracking, was lost. It turns out the pack was not scanned at any location. More than $200 worth of goods went missing.
Here is the Australia Post response:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us about the parcel 60204183857099 you sent. I can understand that it鈥檚 concerning when your parcel is not delivered as expected. My name is Erik and below is the outcome of your enquiry.
I have checked the details for your parcel and can see that there has been no tracking events. If your parcel was not able to be delivered, it may be forwarded to our Returned Mail Redistribution Centre, which is where undeliverable, damaged or loose items are sent. I have subsequently used the contents description you provided to check this database, but was unsuccessful in finding a match.
I #8217;m sorry to advise that the parcel you have sent has been lost in transit. As you have not taken out Transit Cover for this parcel, we cannot compensate you for the contents. As a result, all possible avenues for our investigation have been exhausted and we are unable to investigate this matter further.
Maybe this is part of the management plan to drive the sale of Transit Cover.
The whole experience is frustrating.
rarr; 4 CommentsCategory: Australia Post middot; Newsagency management
Simple counter offer for stationery
Mark Fletcher on November 25, 2016 12:56 PM
Going through some photos from a couple of months ago, I found this one from a counter offer at a Ryman store in the UK. This is a good simple stationery pitch at the counter.
Vary smart, easy to do and difficult for others to price compare. Ideal for a newsagency.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: Stationery
Take a look at the Bauer Media magazine discount offer in Woolworths
Mark Fletcher on November 25, 2016 6:07 AM
I took a close look at the BUY ONE GET ONE HALF PRICE offer for Bauer Media titles in Woolworths yesterday, if the Park Street Sydney store.
You only have to look at the in-store promotion to understand the damage this Woolworths exclusive promotion could do to the sale of Bauer titles in newsagencies.
Why Bauer would fund this promotion for Woolworths is beyond me. Well, I guess not actually since they were probably put under pressure by Woolworths.
Here is a photo of the magazine department. Your eyes are drawn to the orange collateral for the offer as you approach the display.
Now take a closer look. here is how The Australian Women #8217;s Weekly is being promoted.
The message is clear side on and front on. Now look at Woman #8217;s Day:
Again, a clear message, which I get since the goal of the promotion is to drive incremental purchases of Bauer titles. The question is whether Bauer wins at the cost of other publishers. Bauer聽would win from this but maybe not the retailer.
Off location is this floor unit:
This promotion will run a total of three months. That is three month of preferential pricing for Bauer titles in Woolworths. I suspect newsagency businesses located near Woolworths will suffer from this. If my business was affected I;d be unhappy with Bauer and taking the matter up with the company.
This promotion looks like Bauer wants to migrate shoppers from other channels to Woolworths. While I expect the folks at Bauer would disagree, the facts speak for themselves #8211; a compelling offer, exclusive to Woolworths.
It surprises me why any supplier supports a retailer like Woolworths when they don #8217;t engage with the category like you see in most newsagencies. I guess only big businesses understand big businesses. Time till tell how that pans out for them.
Magazines are important to our channel. Indeed, they are more important to us than they are to Woolworths. Yet Woolworths gets the deals. They are able to say magazines are cheaper there than in newsagencies #8211; why should shoppers shop with us when we are more expensive? For discretionary purchases price does matter.
rarr; 15 CommentsCategory: Competition middot; magazines
The simple Facebook posts work the best
Mark Fletcher on November 24, 2016 4:58 AM
With social media content being swiped past quickly on phones, the short and simple posts are the best.
Here is one post I did two days ago that worked a treat online and in-store:
Can you see what I did? Three different panda products, from different categories, together in this one post. And with a single word text message, which was suggested by a colleague newsagent and for which I am grateful.
The engagement with and from this post made the $5.00 spend worthwhile.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: marketing middot; marketing tip middot; newsagency marketing
Star Wars the top licence this Christmas
Mark Fletcher on November 24, 2016 4:32 AM
Licence experts in the toy and games space have declared that Star Wars will be the top licence this Christmas in Australia.
One expert in the field who I heard from this week claims it will outperform its nearest licence rival by more than three聽to one. If this happens it will be an extraordinary result.
The time for picking successful licences was back in March this year when most major brands released their Christmas lines.
With Star Wars licenced products from a range of suppliers, engaged retailers are able to tell a terrific story across multiple product categories, some of which are traditional to newsagency retail while others are not.
If your business has a Christmas catalogue out with toys and no Star Wars representation #8211; ask those who created the catalogue why they have ignored this opportunity.
What is fascinating about Star Wars for newsagents聽is that through this licence you can sell items that are far more expensive than the average item value sold in a newsagency. This type of move is key is you are to life basket value and dollar margins per sale.
Licence insights and trends are vital to understanding the opportunities down the road and around the corner. Being able to decide in March, for example, what will dominate in December is challenging even for major retailers. However, it is vital to have a go at this, to try and ensure you are in the game. Otherwise, it will be a low-margin Christmas based on cheap toys and that is a game newsagents should have got out of years ago.
rarr; 5 CommentsCategory: newsagency of the future
Other newsagents benefiting from the newsXpress TV commercial
Mark Fletcher on November 24, 2016 4:30 AM
There has been a surge in Beanie Boo sales for newsagents outside the newsXpress group as a result of the newsxpress TVC that is currently running. 聽Several newsagents from another group are matching the offer, rinding on the coat tails of the newsXpress TVC.
Here is the successful TVC funded y newsXpress.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: newsagency marketing
Changes at ANCOL in South Australia
Mark Fletcher on November 23, 2016 6:49 PM
ANCOL, the newsagent owned stationery wholesale business and local shareholder in Newspower, issued this statement two days ago:
We have conducted聽 a review of the ANCOL Group鈥檚 operational requirements.
As a result of this review the position of ANCOL Sales Manager has been made redundant, effective immediately.
Your existing Account Manager will continue to call and be responsible for the day to day needs of your business. There are no changes to call cycles and the Account Managers will continue to provide the exemplary service levels the Co-operative currently provides.
If you need additional assistance with an issue, query or problem do not hesitate to contact the Operations Manager, Ben Myles or myself.
In my opinion there will be a rationalisation of stationery wholesale in South Australia as the changes under way at GNS play out. South Australia is too small for ANCOL to help newsagents to source stationery on competitive terms.
rarr; 1 CommentCategory: Newsagent representation middot; Stationery
So what happened about the newspaper flat wrap project?
Mark Fletcher on November 23, 2016 5:01 AM
Back in 2006 the flat wrapping of newspapers for home delivery was a big issue. After various trials, flat wrap papers became a standard in South Australia.
But what about the rest of the country? Why did flat wrap not become a national standard?
Ten years ago this was a big story. There were many meetings and many arguments. It was thought by some to be crucial to the success of newspapers into the future.
We now know flat wrap has had no impact on the sales success of a newspaper.
The South Australian situation was and is unique because of how home delivery agents are clustered in depots, groups of newsagents sharing infrastructure. Even so, newsagents with larger distribution businesses elsewhere have not embraced flat wrap.
In Adelaide yesterday I saw a flat wrapped paper in a cafe and this reminded me of the discussions in 2006. here is a photo of the paper:
That flat wrap has not taken off around the country makes me wonder about the claims in 2006 of how vital flat wrap was and about the costs of the infrastructure given the poor return newspapers provide today.
I am writing about it today in the hope some newsagents till involved in flat wrap share their experiences as I am sure there are newsagents in the channel who know nothing about this type of newspaper delivery.
rarr; 4 CommentsCategory: Newspaper distribution middot; Newspapers middot; Social responsibility
Tatts double standards for On the Run in South Australia?
Mark Fletcher on November 23, 2016 4:55 AM
Go into almost any On The Run c-store in South Australia and you see Tatts product placement at the counter that is not permitted in newsagency businesses. Unless I am missing something tatts is permitting a major competitor of newsagents to have a lower cost and more commercially valuable lottery offering in-store.
Here is one store I saw in Adelaide yesterday.
I know of newsagents who have been fined for non lottery products placed this close to their Tatts terminal.
If I was a Tatts outlet in South Australia I would want to know why On The Run has been permitted聽what appears to be more competitive terms than newsagents.I would want this tested with those in authority over such matters.
rarr; 16 CommentsCategory: Ethics middot; Lotteries middot; Social responsibility
Don #8217;t do as I do, do as I say
Mark Fletcher on November 23, 2016 4:53 AM
News Corp. asks, some say pressures, newsagents to give prime position in newsagencies for newspapers. Check out how the company promotes its print product on their office in the Adelaide CBD #8230; they don #8217;t promote print and have not for more than a year. I took this photo yesterday morning.
rarr; 1 CommentCategory: Newsagent suppliers middot; Newspapers
The Australian reports magazine sales data shake-up for supermarkets
Mark Fletcher on November 22, 2016 5:34 AM
The Media column in The Australian yesterday reported a shake-up in the way Coles handles magazine sales data and payment. The Australian claims Coles will move to a scanned sales model with Woolworths soon to follow.聽I thought Woolworths had scanned sales in place already #8211; they certainly provide overnight sales data from what I understand.
Regardless, the story is interesting for a few reasons:
Public acknowledgement that retailers until now have had to pay for shrinkage.
Surprise that Coles supposedly pays for all magazines supplied and then claims for unsold stock. This does not sound right.
Supermarkets sell fewer magazines than newsagents yet they appear to have a better deal than us when it comes to shrinkage.
We can offer a scanned sales model today 鈥 at least newsagents with accurate data can and that number of newsagents is close to 1,000.
Shrinkage. We already know that the magazines most affected by shrinkage in newsagencies are the top 50 titles. The average cost is around 3% of sales. Being compensated for this would be a valuable benefit for any retailer.
This brief diary piece should interest newsagents as it goes to matters at the heart of our competitiveness in the magazine space. The item puts publishers on notice not only from supermarkets but from other retailers including newsagents.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: Competition middot; magazines middot; Newsagency management
Gross oversupply of New Statesman or bad management at Gotch?
Mark Fletcher on November 22, 2016 5:28 AM
The unjustified massive increase in supply of New Statesman for one newsagent, from 13 to 31 #8211; probably a data entry issue #8211; is a headache. I suspect the folks at Gotch will say it was a mistake. This is happening so much that to me it looks like a broken technology system in need of urgent replacement. Why would there be data entry at all?! Human error was the problem a decade ago聽so I wonder when Gotch will have a state of the art allocations system that stops mistakes like this.
rarr; No CommentsCategory: magazine distribution middot; Magazine oversupply
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